Sunday, December 21, 2014

Jazz Legends: Count Basie

Did I say I was taking the week off?

I did... but since Count Basie is finally finished I thought I'd share the finished painting with you.

The latest in my Jazz Legends Series: Count Basie. Acrylic on Canvas.
Signed limited edition prints available soon.
As always, if you'd like to see how I got here, all my working photos are posted on my page at Global Vernissage. The next one will be starting soon.... I'll keep you posted. 

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. No matter what you celebrate, I hope it is full of family and joy, and you start the new year with a sense of hope and possibility. See you in 2015.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Art Journaling: Found Poetry

Transformed by experience. Does that explain the big picture?
The wonders of the internet age.

Since I signed up for my first social media account many years ago, I have reconnected with many people I had know over the course of my life... friends from high school and university, one time neighbours, co-workers from jobs held over the course of my life. Some of these people I had been quite close to at one time, but life took us on different paths. After the initial "what have you been up to for the last 10 years" conversation, we kind of settle into something new, and discover who we are now by the things we choose to share.

It's amazing how many people I had spent a lot of time with in the past had no idea that I was into art. I get "oh really? You paint???" And after a while I often will get a "you've really changed"...

Well, yes actually, I have. We all have. We can't help it... things happen and it effects us, and it changes how we look at the world. We are what we have lived, and how we choose to interpret these experiences shapes our outlook. Change, for me, is most definitely a good thing.

I love this found poetry exercise (I posted the details of the exercise on a previous post)... every time I do one of these I look at what I've put together and try to see how it relates to what is going on in my life. It always does.... somehow.


As it is two weeks until Christmas and I've got a whole lot of work to get done between now and then, I've decided to give myself a little blogging break. I'll be back in the new year with my regular Sunday morning posts, and some new work to share. I'll be continuing with my Jazz Legends series on Global Vernissage ... I'm doing 12 portraits in this series, and right now I'm working through number 4 (Count Basie). I've got the next couple planned, but am open to suggestions for the remaining few. I'm trying to keep it limited to the early days of jazz... particularly the black performers that made up the scene in Harlem in the 20s-40s. Leave any suggestions in the comments.  :)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Business Side of Art

The weeks leading up to Christmas is always busy. Usually I spend these weeks making things, but this year, not so much. I just don't seem to have time. What I seem to be spending all my time doing these days is all the stuff necessary to have my art out in the world.

My paintings hanging at CJs Cafe in Bronte. A lovely
little artsy spot right in the shopping area of Oakville. 

Things I've done this week: packaging up prints and calendars and shipping them out. Returning emails. Following up with potential collectors. Hanging a show. Being on Social Media. Meeting with other artists. Showing up at an opening for an artist friend and an open house event for a gallery that supports me. Getting my car fixed so I can get to those events safely. Throw in a 40 hour/week job that seems to want to morph into a 80 hour/week job...

What I haven't done is pick up a paintbrush.

It's wonderful that things are happening. I love getting feedback about my work. It's awesome that people actually want these prints and calendars and want my art hanging in their venue. But somewhere inside me there's a little kid getting ready to throw a temper-tantrum. But I just wanna paint!! Wha wha whaaaaaaaaa!!!

Count Basie portrait in progress
Count Basie in progress... you can follow my
working photos on the Global Vernissage website.
There's a thing about creative work that I choose to ignore at my own peril... in order to have creative output, you actually have to DO something creative. It can't all be about work, there has to be some fun involved. Some play. Too long without it and I won't be able to just pick up where I left off and get back to creating. So... what to do? I really don't know. Hopefully I'll have a little breather soon and be able to get back into my studio to actually paint and not just to find my packing tape or mailing tubes.

In the meantime, you can follow along with my Count Basie painting on Global Vernissage. I intend to finish that up and post all the photos, no matter how long it takes. I just can't leave him unfinished, and I know there are a few people following along that want to see how he turns out. And at least I will get to do that, no matter how busy I get with everything else. That might just be enough to keep my inner child in check.